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What is Silage? Fodder is packed in airtight condition to preserve its nutritional value, improve its quality and taste and to make it easily digestible This is called silage or pickle of the fodder.
Principle:In this process, green fodder is fermented through special bacteria which can survive without oxygenThe resulting fodder is rendered tasty and easily digestible for animals
Mechanism/Process: The preparation of good quality silage depends on 1-Timely harvesting of fodder, 2-Quantity of air in it at the time of packing 3-Preservation method In this process useful bacteria converts soluble starches into lactic acid It decreases its acidic quality (pH) to 3.0-4.0, which stops the growth of harmful germs Makes the fodder safe for animal consumption If moisture content is high in fodder, wheat straw or crushed cobs of maize can be added for silage making
Steps for Silage Making :Selection of fodderCheck moistureHarvestingChoppingPressingStorage
Selection of fodder:• Silage can be made from all winter and summer fodders• But usually maize, oats, sorghum etc. are considered best for silage making
Cont… Normally fodder with Broad leaves Thick stems Leguminous fodder has less carbohydrates and protein content, they are usually mixed with non leguminous fodder (like maize and sorghum) to make the best and nutritious silage
Harvesting & Check moisture: It is important to determine the right time for harvesting fodder to get the best nutritional value from silage The time to harvest can be determined from the following indications:1. When the plant is fully mature2. Half of the grain in maize is milky3. The fruitful fodder has 50% flowers4. Moisture content is 65-70 %
Advantages: A cheap substitute for fodder at the time of fodder shortage Silage makes the fodder more digestible Land is available for the next crop without delay, because all of the fodder is harvested and stored at once Animals get nutritious feed the whole year Expenditure on labour force is decreased considerably
Uses/Applications: The animals like eating silage, but the buffalo may be hesitant in the beginning. In this case, feed it with green fodder or concentrate mixed in the silage, so that it develops a taste for the silage. Then increase its quantity gradually. Give 15 to 20 kilogram silage along with concentrates daily to the lactating animals. Be careful when removing silage from the bunker. Cover it with polythene so that mud or moisture does not spoil the silage.
Feed Additives: Their main functions are to either increase nutritional value of silage or improve fermentation so that storage losses are reduced. Silage additives include feedstuffs, urea, ammonia, inoculants and acids.
Types Of Silage Additives: NON-PROTEIN NITROGEN (NPN). Urea and anhydrous ammonia can be added to silages to increase their crude protein (CP) content FEEDSTUFFS. Feeds such as corn, small grains, and molasses can be added to forage MINERALS. Minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, sulfur and magnesium have been added to forage
Cont… ACIDS. Acids are added to forages at ensiling to cause an immediate drop in pH MICROBIAL INOCULANTS. Inoculants are added to forage to increase the number of desirable bacteria present at the time of ensiling.
Remember:1. No additive can replace good silage making techniques, but may improve fermentation and nutritional value of some silages. The response is usually not large